3 Simple Ways To Reclaim Your Time, Because Every Minute Counts

Adopt Rep. Maxine Waters' mantra as your own with the easy, everyday tips to reduce stress.

With so many obligations tugging at our attention throughout the day, it's hard to find time to breathe. But how can you go about reclaiming your time amidst all this commotion? When Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) first used her "reclaiming my time" mantra in the halls of Congress, the Internet adopted the concept as its latest catchphrase. But now, since the saying has proven it has staying power, it's become both a feminist rallying cry and the tagline for work-life balance advocates. Here are three easy ways to reclaim your time every day so you can fully enjoy each night (and weekend):

1. Don't bite off more than you can chew.

There's great power in saying "no" every now and then. While we often feel like we need to take on every task that comes our way, it's not always good for our mental health. Because society values the art of multitasking, we reply with a resounding "yes" so we don't appear lazy or incapable. But guess what? It's OK to understand and acknowledge your limitations! Working to the point of total burnout won't accomplish anything anyway. When you know you've hit maximum capacity, decline requests that you can't possibly tackle and only accept those that will further your personal goals simultaneously.

2. Delegate smaller tasks to alleviate stress.

When you do find out that you've taken on more than you can handle, delegate smaller tasks that don't necessarily require your personal attention. Whether it's around the office or around the house, many feel ashamed to ask for help when they become overwhelmed by life's daily stressors. However, knowing when you've hit the brink and asking others for assistance demonstrates bravery, as it forces us to admit that we're human. Sure, you might consider holding onto these tasks because you're the "only one" who can get it "right" the first time, but settling for someone else's "good enough" can be quite liberating. You'll be free to focus on those matters that truly deserve your attention and expertise.

3. Ignore your email inbox after work hours.

Just because you have constant access to your work emails doesn't mean you should keep checking your inbox after hours. Smart devices might've revolutionized the way we work, but they've also come to hinder the way we live. Society's "always on" mentality contradicts its emphasis on maintaining work-life balance to the point that employees often feel obligated to stay on top of their inbox just in case something needs their immediate attention. However, by refusing to disconnect, people rob themselves of precious (and seemingly rare) relaxation time. Instead, engage in conversation with friends and family face-to-face, or read the book that's been cluttering your nightstand for months. Use your time away from the office to truly get away from the office entirely.

Cover image via Jéshoots / Pexels

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